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15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County

From tiny plots to rolling expans­es, Butte Coun­ty offers up a vari­ety of excel­lent North­ern Cal­i­for­nia parks and recre­ation areas per­fect for every­one — with plen­ty of space for phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing. You could spend many days try­ing to explore all the Chico parks, Oroville parks, and Par­adise parks (and beyond), and we encour­age you to do so!

How­ev­er, if your time is lim­it­ed, start with our list of the top 15 parks and recre­ation areas in Butte County.

Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park

Vot­ed the favorite park area in Butte Coun­ty, the Bid­well-Sacra­men­to Riv­er State Park is the place for excel­lent bank fish­ing, launch­ing boats and kayaks, and hik­ing. Those look­ing to raft, kayak, canoe, or inner-tube can float down the riv­er from the Irvine Finch Riv­er Access Site. Come with the essen­tials — water, sun­screen, snacks, and friends — and see for your­self what makes this place the most loved recre­ation area in the county.

Bille Park

Locat­ed in a red­wood grove in Par­adise, Bille Park is a serene neigh­bor­hood park fea­tur­ing hik­ing trails, a play­ground, and pic­nic area. It’s an idyl­lic spot for a mid­day pic­nic on your way to or from Par­adise Lake or for sim­ply relax­ing while count­ing the clouds.

Clotilde Mer­lo Park

In the high­er ele­va­tions of Par­adise Ridge in Stir­ling City, vis­i­tors can enjoy an after­noon at the seclud­ed, 20-acre Clotilde Mer­lo Park. Requir­ing a bit of a dri­ve, those who make the trip will dis­cov­er a beau­ti­ful park with three ponds, water­falls, a boc­ce court, and a sense of seren­i­ty. As it’s only open May through Octo­ber, make sure to time your trip accordingly!

Oroville Wildlife Area

With near­ly 12,000 acres of ripar­i­an habi­tat along the Feath­er Riv­er, and grass­lands around the Ther­mal­i­to After­bay, the Oroville Wildlife Area is a pop­u­lar loca­tion for hunt­ing, fish­ing, kayak­ing, and sight­see­ing. It’s a fun spot for wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy, walk­ing the dog, or enjoy­ing a con­tem­pla­tive stroll.

Feath­er Riv­er Fish Hatchery

No where else in Butte Coun­ty can you go nose-to-nose with a Chi­nook salmon or steel­head trout than at the Feath­er Riv­er Fish Hatch­ery, where you can learn all about their migra­tions and life cycles. Enjoy the view­ing win­dows, watch fish jump up the lad­der dur­ing the fall and spring runs, or arrange for a guid­ed tour for the ulti­mate experience.

15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County

Pere­grine Point Disc Golf Course

Tra­vers­ing rolling, wood­ed ter­rain that forces a vari­ety of shots, the Pere­grine Point Disc Golf Course is a chal­leng­ing course for avid play­ers and chal­lenges them to tight­en up their dri­ves and trust their shots. But real­ly, with views over­look­ing the Sacra­men­to Val­ley and Chico Creek Canyon, this course in Upper Bid­well Park is a must (even if you’re just there for the vistas).

Hook­er Oak Park

Hook­er Oak Park, so named for the large hook­er oak tree that used to adorn the site and was a fea­tured ele­ment in the 1938 movie The Adven­tures of Robin Hood, is today a beloved children’s park in Chico. Fam­i­lies love the play equip­ment for 2 – 5 year olds, hand­i­cap acces­si­ble play equip­ment for those 5 – 12, mul­ti­ple courts and fields, and the Sher­wood For­est Kids Disc Golf Course.

15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County

Caper Acres

Anoth­er Bid­well Park fam­i­ly favorite, Caper Acres is a fan­ta­sy play­ground area for chil­dren 12 and younger. At this fan­tas­ti­cal facil­i­ty, chil­dren can vis­it Hump­ty Dump­ty at the sand­box, swing to their heart’s con­tent, climb into a tree­house” and slip down its slides, and much more!

DeGar­mo Park

With a pop­u­lar dog park, mul­ti­ple youth soft­ball fields and mul­ti-use turf fields, a play­ground, and walk­ing path, DeGar­mo Park is worth a trip to north Chico in its own right. Intro­duce your four-legged friend to new bud­dies, watch a game, take a stroll, or sim­ply enjoy the com­mu­ni­ty park vibe.

Loafer Creek Recre­ation Area

There’s a lot to love about the Loafer Creek Recre­ation Area—the day-use area fea­tures Lake Orovilles only des­ig­nat­ed swim­ming area and pic­nic area, per­fect for a few hours lake­side. For longer stays, there are tent, trail­er, and RV camp­ing; spe­cial camp­ing and ameni­ties for eques­tri­ans; six group camp­grounds that can each fit 25 campers; and miles of trails through oak-stud­ded foothills.

Chico Seed Orchard

As part of the Men­do­ci­no Nation­al For­est, the Chico Seed Orchard got its start in 1904 as a research facil­i­ty for the USDA. Today, it’s a 209-acre botan­i­cal gem that makes for a beau­ti­ful after­noon stroll. Along the one-mile paved nature path, you’ll enjoy inter­pre­tive signs, a bam­boo grove, and the sounds of the bird-filled canopies.

Sly Creek Recre­ation Area

Tucked away in the east­ern cor­ner of Butte Coun­ty, the remote Sly Creek Recre­ation Area attracts campers, anglers, and flat­wa­ter boat­ing enthu­si­asts. Vis­i­tors will enjoy a scenic dri­ve through foothill com­mu­ni­ties and the Plumas Nation­al For­est to reach this remote location.

River­bend Park

With a prime loca­tion along the Feath­er Riv­er in Oroville, the 210-acre River­bend Park is a peren­ni­al pop­u­lar spot in the city. Tak­ing advan­tage of its loca­tion along the riv­er, the park offers a boat launch, fish­ing ponds, water­side trails, and even a sandy beach as well as a play­ground, mul­ti-use sports fields, two 18-hole disc golf cours­es, and an adjoin­ing dog park.

15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County

Com­mu­ni­ty Park

With large, beau­ti­ful­ly green lawns; mul­ti­ple play­grounds; pick­le­ball, vol­ley­ball, and ten­nis courts; and soft­ball, soc­cer, and mul­ti-pur­pose sports fields, the Com­mu­ni­ty Park offers some­thing for every­one in the fam­i­ly. It’s an espe­cial­ly prime spot for kite fly­ing on those per­fect­ly breezy days — make sure to return to par­tic­i­pate in the annu­al Chico Kite Day.

15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County

Sher­wood For­est Kids’ Disc Golf Course

If you’re plan­ning to explore with young disc golfers, you’ll want to check out the Sher­wood For­est Kids’ Disc Golf Course. The Robin Hood-themed 9‑hole course at Hook­er Oak Park is designed to be chal­leng­ing for both kids and begin­ners to the sport (and the large dec­o­ra­tive arrows make for fun pho­tos for everyone).

15 of the Best Parks and Recreation Areas in Butte County